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New Vine Logistics Suspends Operations


Date: 06/01/09

In a development that has its customers wondering where to turn next to fulfill their direct to consumer orders, New Vine Logistics, the provider of fulfillment and logistics services for winery direct sales, has essentially suspended operations and advised its winery clients over the weekend that it would not be processing any new orders.

According to an email sent to clients by founder Katie Hoertkorn, New Vine will no longer be able to receive and/or process any further orders for shipment from its facility and will be shutting down the ability to submit orders electronically through New Vine Online.

The note advised wineries to check its extranet for status on orders submitted or pending, "We extend our sincere apologies as New Vine has abruptly gone into a state of financial crisis and is currently working on the plan forward to communicate further updates about the state of the company and how best to interface with New Vine for all of your inquiries," Hoertkorn said.

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According to industry sources, a skeleton crew is left at New Vine, including two executives, chief operating officer Carol Thompson and - VP, Sales & Marketing Josh Langford. They are working on contingency plans for an orderly wind down.

New Vine has approximately 200 wine shippers of which roughly half are producers. The others are marketing agents, virtual inventory customers, and so forth, those that use New Vine's network.

The news will undoubtedly delay plans by Amazon.com to launch Amazonwine.com, as the company had been planning to partner with New Vine.

Roy Kim, a consultant who helps turn-around troubled companies and was brought in a couple weeks ago as CEO is no longer with the company.

Search the Wine Business Monthly archives at winebusiness.com for more on fulfillment companies and consumer direct sales, including, "Getting Wine to the Consumer," and "How to Select a Third-Party Fulfillment Center."



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